MDMA stands for methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Sometimes known as ecstasy, this is a stimulant drug that also has hallucinogenic properties. It is a Schedule I controlled substance because it has no accepted medical uses and a high potential for abuse. 

Authorities have identified a small number of clandestine laboratories in the United States involved in the manufacture of MDMA. However, most of the ecstasy found here has its origins in other countries, such as Canada or the Netherlands. 

What happens to you if you take MDMA? 

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, MDMA is mildly hallucinogenic. This means that it affects your mind, altering your mood and perceptions. You may see things that are not there or have the sensation that time is standing still. 

MDMA is also a stimulant drug. Therefore, it can have similar effects to methamphetamine or cocaine. In the short term, this could mean increased blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. Long-term effects could include memory difficulties and anhedonia due to the disruption of the serotonin system. 

Why do people take MDMA? 

MDMA can induce euphoria and reportedly enhances physical sensation, including sexual stimulation. Because people consider ecstasy a party drug, they often take it in combination with alcohol or other substances. This makes it potentially more dangerous because it could interact with other drugs in unpredictable ways. 

How do people take MDMA? 

While you may sometimes find MDMA in liquid, powder or capsular forms, it most often appears as colorful tablets. These often carry branding in the form of logos to help people choose the exact variety they want. The bright colors also make it easier to hide the tablets among harmless candies.